News & Updation
AN ASSESSMENT OF SMALL HYDRO POWER (SHP) POTENTIAL IN SOME RIVERS WITHIN BENIN-OWENA RIVER BASIN DEVELOPMENT AREA
Odiase G. E.*
The need for rural transformation as well as the Ecological /environmental problems resulting from large hydro power stations from medium and large dams, nurtured the idea of renewable energy as viable option. This led to a stakeholder forum initiated and organized by the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
in collaboration with Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) held in Nigeria in 2002. The forum rekindle the necessity to exploit the hydro power potential of swift flowing streams, rivers and rivulets for small/mini/macro hydro power in the River Basin system in Nigeria as has been successfully implemented in some other countries of the world. This paper presents a broad view of the activities of UNIDO and ECN in promoting the general concept of Small Hydro-Power in Nigeria. It also emphasis on World Meteological Organization (WMO) for meteological information required for the study and design of SHP scheme. The technical and economic viability of the four on-going SHP schemes located in Okhunmwan River at Ugonoba community, (Edo State) Ogbonmwan River at Evboro II (Edo State), Owena River at Ogundele and Sokoto community, (Ondo State) and Oye River at Itapaji, (Ekiti State) were assessed. The four schemes were found to be viable and construction works have started on them. While the Owena and Oye projects had the Dam, reservoir and bottom outlet in place, the Ugonoba and Evboro do not have these which is additional cost to the schemes. However, the Federal Government is providing the hydraulic structures, a weir and other hydraulic structures in the case of Okhunmwan and UNIDO in the case of Ogbomwan. The status of the construction works in the four sites were also presented and assessed. The slow pace of work on these projects has been attributed to the inadequate provision of fund to the federal government agencies handling the project by the federal government. It was concluded that feasibility studies and design be carried out on other potential River sites as these are abound. Execution of these projects could be on public/private partnership.